Creating a Mess

Sometimes creativity is a humbling experience. You'll remember I promised to do more ruler work on my low shank machine to give a better review of the Westalee ruler foot for low shank machines? I decided to knock out one of my word art pieces as a way to get used again to the much smaller machine. My poor Janome 8200 is sitting on the shelf wondering why I've put him aside so quickly for the 3160.

Well, first thing was the realization of how much I use my knee lift on the other machine. It's wonderful. My knee kept pushing to the side for a lever that wasn't there. Then I had to use my hand instead! Oh the horror! (LOL)

Next was the true horror of no longer having the sweet spot sound in my head for quilting with this machine. Took awhile to get things moving just right and when doing one of these word art pieces, the quilting is teeny tiny.

Remember how I've said that as a beginner, sudden changes in hand speed and evenness can throw off your tension in curves? That can still happen when you are 'new' to a machine.

Then the sound changed again, prompting a check of the back. Tension issues. Adjust and keep quilting, knowing that this piece will be mounted over a canvas. But after a bit, the stitches on the top started to look wonky. I stopped. Checked the back.

To rip or not to rip? That is the question. Then I realized I didn't leave myself enough room to staple the edge on one side of the artist's canvas. Rip it, rip it good.

Look! I created a mess!

Sometimes to get such dense stitching out, you've got to resort to skinning the quilt. I had to open out the sandwich and rip the tightest stitches out from between the batting and the back. Ugh.

Stay tuned to find out what became of this piece. And to also see more of my work with the ruler foot on this low shank machine. It seems I have been quite spoiled by my high shank machines.


  1. Although I haven't been doing fmq on a different machine (my Juki is in for a "spa" treatment and I've been piecing with my 41 y.o. knee lift, no needle down, etc, AND I have to turn the fly wheel to do anything....BUT the stitching is gorgeous and it hums!!!), getting re-used to a machine from the "dark ages" is certainly a steep learning curve experience! Are we spoiled???? Nahhhhhh......HA!!!

  2. Hate that ripping. I'm with Janome 1600pqc for six month and it's so brilliant. I never able to go back old machine...